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Immigration Reform Supporters Rally at Capitol
Immigration reform is still a hot button topic across the nation. As lawmakers in DC return to their home districts for the August recess, many here in Illinois who support the idea of immigration reform are working to convince those representatives to vote in their favor before they head back to Washington.
More than two dozen people went to the Lincoln statue at the capitol earlier today, in the hopes of persuading their congressmen to pass immigration reform.
The rally was primarily targeted toward Republicans Aaron Schock and Rodney Davis.
Organizers said the idea is to push them to pass the reform that has already cleared the Senate. That bill includes pathways to citizenship for undocumented or illegal immigrants.
Opponents of the legislation say that bringing more immigrants into the country could take away jobs from American citizens. Supporters say it could increase the number of jobs.
"I would point them to the Center for American Progress, which says the 4,400 jobs annually, for the state of Illinois," Scott Cross of Organizing for America said. "And everyone always complains and says, 'they don't pay their taxes.' But they want to pay their taxes, and it would be, for the state of Illinois, $1.6 billion in additional tax revenue."
We received a statement from Congressman Rodney Davis' office. It said he understands and acknowledges that immigration reform is an issue that must be addressed by Congress. He added that it is his firm belief we must start by fixing the problems that led to our broken immigration system in the first place, before we address those who are here as undocumented immigrants.
We also contacted Aaron Schock's office, but have not received a comment.
Speakers at today's rally included immigrants who told their stories, and several elected officials, including Springfield alderman Doris Turner and District 186 school board member Judith Johnson. A representative of Gov. Pat Quinn's staff was on hand as well.